The 2015 edition of FC Dallas was a resounding success, locking up the number one seed in the West, missing the Supporter’s Shield on Goal Difference, and making it to the Western Conference final where they were bested by the eventual champions from Portland. That team far exceeded their preseason expectations, so the task of finding a way to improve it was not an easy one for Fernando Clavijo, Oscar Pareja, and the team of coaches and scouts.
The sweat had barely dried after the MLS Cup Final when FCD announced its initial round of roster moves. It picked up options on the defensive pair of Hedges and Loyd, homegrowns Ulloa and Acosta, and the veterans Harris, Escobar, Watson and Hollingshead.
In this first column, I wanted to get you up to speed on which faces you shouldn’t expect to back in Toyota Stadium this coming year. Here is the extensive list of players who came to end of their time here:
David Texeira – the Uruguayan forward saw a welcome end to his tough few years in Dallas and moved to Turkish minnows Sivasspor.
Michel – having seen his playing time dry up with the growth of Ulloa and Acosta, the Brazilian midfielder was cut as expected and found a new home just up I-35 with NASL side, Rayo OKC.
Otis Earle – after being drafted in 2015, the rookie left back failed to make an impression in Dallas – not playing a single minute of MLS action – before being assigned to USL affiliate Arizona where he made only 6 appearances.
Danny Garcia – the homegrown graduate spent 2015 in Arizona, too, but after notching just one assist in 15 games, found himself out of a job. He got offered a contract with USL outfit, San Antonio FC.
Bakary Soumare – announced his retirement from football at the end of the season, after persistent injuries kept him sidelined for the entire 2015 season. The Malian central defender spent the majority of his nine year career bouncing around MLS and was acquired by FC Dallas in a July 2015 trade from Montreal in exchange for Kyle Bekker.
Stephen Keel – the MLS journeyman defender, and a fan favorite, saw injury and age catch up to him and was inevitably cut after failing to make it onto the field once in 2015. While nothing has been made official about his future, he was spotted by Colorado bloggers at preseason with the Rapids.
Blas Perez – Perhaps the most divisive move was to choose not to offer a new contract to the Pamananiam forward. Having led FCD in scoring for three straight seasons, he saw his playing time marginalized as Pareja tried to accommodate Texeira, whose skill set was better suited to the breakneck speed in Dallas’s attack. After being linked back to Panama, he received an offer to join MLS rivals, Vancouver.
Dan Kennedy – In a curious trade, FC Dallas sent the want-away goalkeeper back to his home state, California, just one year after acquiring him from the dissolving Chivas USA. He joined the LA Galaxy in exchange for a few late round draft picks in 2017. The trade was the first of several moves that saw LA take steps towards returning to their status as an MLS powerhouse.
Rolando Escobar – After the departure of fellow countryman, Perez, the midfielder, who arrived in May, was allowed to leave and rejoin his former club Deportivo Anzoategui in Venezuela.
Ezequiel Cirigliano – the last of FC Dallas’s summer acquisitions, left when his loan deal expired. The midfielder with a spotted history failed to establish a foothold after spending over six weeks just getting up to match fitness. His last appearance was a woeful one in Seattle where sloppy play allowed the home team to cancel out Castillo’s away goal and take a 2-1 lead to Frisco.
Next week, as the roster gets closer to being finalized for opening weekend, I will spend some time going through the new signings that have arrived in Dallas, and will hopefully propel the club to even greater heights in 2016.